Some say bowling is a dying sport.
We wholeheartedly disagree.
In fact, go to the Fort Shafter Bowling Alley and you’ll see, bowling is not only alive and well, one very special woman says it helps keep her alive.
She’s a rock star – Rose Kiyonagi throwing strikes as she turns 100 years old this week. She took up bowling at 65, after retiring as a fabric cutter.
Rose explained: “That’s my joy, bowling…physically i’m doing something, I don’t just sit down and watch tv, that’s why I like to come here, talk with people that’s the main thing.”
Throughout the morning she’s receiving lei after lei from her fellow colleagues and alley staff, with “congratulations,” and “Rose, 100!”
Al Aquino, a fellow Makua League Bowler said of Rose: “she’s a very nice woman, kind, quiet, she don’t say much…see I know her for 30 years, she used to bowl at Bowladrome, Waialae and then we come over here.”
They used to be the Wai’alae Makua League, but this group, all in their 70’s, 80’s, Len is 97, and Rose, now play at the Fort Shafter Bowling Alley, so they’re just the Makua league, bowling every week.
When asked “you think you’ll be bowling at 100?” Al replied “I don’t think so, I might kick the bucket any day now ( laughs).”
Today, they’re all in red, not for the holidays but for Rose, as it’s her favorite color.
Rose said: “I really don’t know why I started wearing red, but every Friday when I bowl I said i’m gonna wear red and if I don’t wear, they say where’s your red shirt you know, so I started wearing red, Kathy asks: does it work? Rose: It does work (laugh).”
And no matter her scores – “oh not too good, but if I bowl over 100 I’m satisfied,” Rose said.
And without any secrets – “when people ask you what’s your secret to a long life?” I asked. She replied: “I say I don’t have no secrets, I eat everything, I do everything, that’s it I don’t have no secrets.”
She finds joy.
“Yes, i’m a happy person,” she said, “everyone is so nice to me I feel that i’m really blessed so I thank the god every morning.”
And they all sang “happy birthday dear Rose happy birthday to you,” with thunderous applause as she blew out her candles.